A generation ago there was a term for adults who genuinely enjoyed watching small children’s athletic or artistic performances: pedophiles.
However a legal culture that went from awarding custody of children to mothers (so long as they were fit) to one that awards custody to the “better parent” and conflates “better parent” with “parent who more actively infiltrates him or herself into the child’s activities,” has completely warped the pleasures of adulthood.
There’s a reason our mothers used Valium: to endure the tedium of spending most of their waking hours with small children without succumbing to the urge to stick their heads in the oven with the pilot light unlit. While I greatly enjoy doing things with my children, there is only limited and fleeting pleasures in watching my children doing things while I sit on my behind on a metal bleacher or wooden chair.
This blog was inspired by my numerous female-lawyer facebook friends whose recent status updates praise the return of their children to school. Even our kids are in on this scam:
Who are these modern parents who seem genuinely enthused about their child’s endless soccer games or dance recitals? Wouldn’t they have more fun doing what our parents did with their free time: having cocktails with other adults and arguing the finer points of culture, sports, religion, politics and sex while the children ran around outside trying to blow-up frogs with M-80’s?